Tuesday, 22 July 2014

LIFESTYLE: My 24 Hours Without Technology

Last week, Insurance 2 Go challenged me to try and go 24 hours technology free! This was one of the first emails that I had to have a serious think about before I accepted! Both my mum and Andrew laughed at me when I told them what I was going to do!
 I decided that I was going to replace my phone with a notebook, this was my best idea - I wrote over 7 pages of notes!!

 I started on Saturday night at around 9pm, probably not such a great idea as my parents were out, Andrew was out and my brothers spent most of the night in their rooms eating pizza so it was just me and Molly. Luckily for me, one of them had left the TV on (as per usual) and American Pie was about to start, it doesn't count if I didn't touch the remote right?! So that was me sorted until Andrew arrived at 11pm - prearranged of course!

I stayed at his house as the next day we were off to a big family event for Andrews baby cousin!! In the morning while he was showering, I did miss reading all the stupid news stories that get posted on my newsfeed over night - the day before I spent 45 minutes reading about a woman who spent 14 hours in TGI Fridays to see how many mozzarella sticks she could eat - she only managed 32! But today, I had to settle with an actual newspaper, not so fun! 

In the car, on the two hour journey, I realised that Andrew was near enough ignored me, I looked around to see him messaging someone on his phone, or what he now likes to call it, his technology! I didn't realise we spend so much time on our phones when we were together! He wasn't very pleased when his signal disappeared - You don't need any signal for a notebook!!

Once we arrived the rest of the day flew by and I didn't even notice I wasn't using my phone! We watched the ceremony, had a few drinks, a yummy BBQ in the beer garden, cake and then it was 5pm already! I got home by 7 in the pouring rain, chatted with my mum for a while, got myself sorted out and by the time that was all done it was 9pm!!!

Things I Missed
5 Tweets
40+ Junk Emails
3 Important Emails (One about a Job!!)
3 Snapchats
3 Facebook Notifications
36 Instagram Notifications
6 Kik Messages From Andrew (Who knew I was on the ban and was just trying to annoy me)

Times I touched Technology 
I watched 4 hours of TV - I didn't touch the remote though.
I picked up my phone countless times though the day but stopped myself.
I texted my parents to let them know that I was going out at 11pm because I forgot to tell them before they went out for dinner.
I posed for a few photos and asked Andrew to take a few so I had some for this post - but didn't take them.

Do You Think You Would Survive?

Monday, 21 July 2014

THAILAND: Tips For Thai Currency, Baht

My recent trip to Thailand was my first holiday without my parents outside of Europe which meant I was in charge of my own money. Euros are easy enough but Baht are completely different. One Baht is currently around 18p which means its around 55 Baht to £1, got it?

I did get to grips with it pretty fast but here a just a few things that I picked up along the way which would have been very helpful to have know before:

Exchange Rates
Whenever I've been away in the past I always got my money sorted in England first, I've never gotten my money changed up in the country itself, so this may be obvious but to me it wasn't haha. The exchange rate is always better from an exchange kiosk rather than the hotel, not that I cared too much while I was away, I normally changed it up in the lobby as it was much easier.

Writing On Notes
Andrew tried to change up a £20 in the hotel but they wouldn't take it because someone had written a number which was partially over the image of the queen. Apparently no where in Thailand will take a note if anything has been drawn over the queen so double check before you leave!

Traveler's Cheques. 
I was clueless before leaving. I really was, all I had was the fact that my dad went to Thailand loads when he was younger so I just went with whatever he said. Wrong move haha of course the world has changed in the years from then to now duh, wish I had realised that sooner. My dad told me to get travelers cheques like he did so before my trip I went to the bank and got £500 worth - don't get me wrong, it was all fine but my life would have been just a bit easier if I did what the modern world do and just use a card and an ATM machine. Every time I wanted to change one up it took 10 minutes of filling in forms plus some places didn't take them and the ones that did took a commission. So it's do-able, I'm just not sure I'd do it that way again haha.

A Penny
I started to realise that now and again we were getting 1 or 2 baht less change than we should have been. Obviously that isn't really a problem but it was just strange. I don't know if they have the equivalent to an English penny or maybe they just don't use them. The bill would always come to something like 300.50 or 300.75 but we would only every get a full baht in change, does that make sense haha I don't know,  just thought I'd point it out.
  
One last thing I had a big of an issue with was getting over excited that I had loads on money when I was holding a 1000 Baht note when in reality I was holding about £20 and getting upset when I had to hand over a 20 Baht note for a bottle of water when in reality, that translates to around 40p. Every now and then I just had to remind myself, this is not England anymore haha relax!


Friday, 18 July 2014

FASHION: Holiday Vs. Festival Summer Personality Quiz by New Look

New Look challenged me to write about what my ultimate summer experience would entail and to be honest, it already happened this summer! I had the most amazing trip of my life exploring somewhere that I had grown up hearing so much about and it didn't disappoint! We were busy every single day visiting temples, markets, elephant riding haha, exploring the nightlife and eating the most amazing food and fruits everyday! Not to mention seeing all the amazing culture of Thailand plus snorkeling in the clear waters around Phi Phi. #TakeMeBack
I then took their Holiday Vs. Festival Summer Personality Quiz by New Look and it came up with:
Image of Barbados Barbados
You’re a reggae rebel! If Barbados is good enough for Rihanna, then it’s safe to assume this tropical getaway has got it all. From lively carnivals to BBQs with bubbly locals, you’ll be immersed in the colourful culture, with plenty of time to also shy away on the beach. With turquoise waters and coral reefs, there are a million excuses for winding down with a cocktail by your side.

 Sounds good to me! Andrew and I have already been discussing our next holiday and since there is no way I want to go back to a boring spain holiday now and the Caribbean islands are somewhere that I've always wanted to see - especially if we could pop off to Florida for 2 weeks in Disney beforehand!!

I tag Jodie to take the quiz next!!

FASHION: Supermarket Clothing

More and more often recently, I am finding amazing little gems in supermarket clothing's stores! They are getting really good with their choice of stock and I've been really impressed with all of them! The best part is that they are always so much cheaper than the usual high street shops! 
Todays wishlist all comes from different supermarkets!
F&F At Tesco

I am loving all the tropical prints on F&F at the moment and was super shocked to see they even had a co-ord! Definitely want to get hold of that, its so cute! 

I bought my last bomber jacket from F&F and its my favourite one so they are now my go to site whenever I'm looking for one, and I love this monochrome one, I actually don't have a black and white one so it would be a great addition to my collection!

Tu At Sainsburys

I found the website a little bit awkward to use so I didn't get to see many items but this dress jumped out at my straight away! The print is super cute and the shape is really pretty and at £22 its such good value for money.

George At ASDA 

Anything that reminds me of Thailand is a must at the moment and this pineapple bag certainly does that! While I was out there I ate more fruit than I ever have done before and I actually enjoyed it! There were fresh, juicy pineapples, melons and mangoes everywhere!

As for the jumpsuit, there were a few things that I loved about it! Firstly the print is lovely, tropical is just the best! Next I like the one shoulder style and lastly I like the fit of it! All good to me!

They also do the super cutest little kids range too - So perfect for my cute little cousins, I loooovee this food print tee!!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

THAILAND: How To Use An Instax Mini 8 Camera

I'm back from Thailand (cryy) and want to write up so much as I can. I am really one of those people who like to look back on their memories, documented rather than just in my head which is why I love to take photos so much! This little thing takes it one step further and I get an actual paper image, it really was the perfect little souvenir to have at the end of each da y(Huge thanks to Jessops for supplying me with the films!). Now, as much as I love it, it was a little tricky to use and I did take a lot of bad ones in the process but once you get the hang of it, its so much fun!


We took 23 photos and out of that 15 were good! Not great, but not terrible for my first experience with it plus I think if I was actually taking the photos myself they would have been alot better since trying to explain it to Thai people who don't speak English is quite hard haha. So here are a few things we learnt along the way:



Framing

Andrew took both of these and you can tell the difference in his framing. The one on the left was the taken on the first night, the first time he used the camera and its actually great for a first ever shot but the one of the right was taken nearer to the end of the holiday and he really got the hang of it there. Once you get used to the idea that what you see in the viewfinder is not what that photo will look like its alot easier. The perfect framing in the viewfinder always cuts off the bottom so I suggest that you find the frame in your viewfinder, then point it down just a little before shooting!



Exposure


Unlike my SLR, using the right setting on this camera is actually important, I'm so used to using it on Auto (naughty photography student) that I just though the same with this but it really is essential that you change the setting to fit your surroundings each time! It's very easy, and is just a matter of twisting the dial to inside mode, sunny, cloudy or whatever but it makes a huge difference on whether your photos are over or under exposed! Over exposed and everything is white, this actually only happened twice and under exposed and everything is black, this happened alot more often. I found it would happen when quite alot if you the lighting and settings were fine but you were just too far away from the subject. I also found it would happen, if you set it to sunny and stand in the shade, it doesn't work, the sunny setting works best when its sunny and your actually standing in the sun too, was that obvious?!



Distance


I'm still not too sure on this one, I found that most of the time, the photos looked better when you were closer to the camera, the photo below with the beach in the background was the only one with a bit of distance that came out well - it was taken by a woman who spoke English so that may have had something to do with it too.  


Here are a few of my faves 


Camera - FujiFilm*
Films - Jessops*

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

LIFESTYLE: Pretty Flowers To Cheer Me Up

Coming home from am amazing holiday is always a sad time but this time even more so, I had the best time ever. I miss seeing something new and amazing everyday, I miss the food and I miss the heat! And the fact that its cold and rainy back home makes it ever worse. The guys at Suttons Seeds sorted me out with a little present to brighten my first week back - they had a pretty bunch of pink flowers delivered to my door in the rain!

So this post is short and sweet just to say a huge thanks! Plus any excuse to fill my blog with pretty flower photos!!

Monday, 14 July 2014

THAILAND: Our First Day At Merlin Beach Resort, Phuket

So here it is, the most amazing holiday I have ever been on is over so I though I'd share a few snippets with you all! These photos were all taken on our first full day in Phuket. (I'm not sure how in order all these posts are going to be haha, We got to Phuket 5 days into the holiday) We actually arrived the night before in the middle of a storm and we were super sad when we checked the weather and saw that it was meant to be stormy all week. Luckily, it was just a bad day and we woke up the next morning to very bright, hot sunshine and the birds singing in the palm tree over our balcony which was something I loved waking up to! It was crazy, there were coconuts growing on them too! It was definitely alot hotter here than in Bangkok which meant I could wear all the crop tops and shorts that I'd packed! 

Motel Rocks - Forever 21 - Havianas 
We started the morning by meeting with our holiday rep and booking a couple of amazing things to do while we were there (more to come on that) and then went for breakfast. This was out view. It was amazing!!
We then spent the day walking around and exploring the resort where we came to find that it had a private beach at the back and the most amazing swimming pools ever! We booked ourselves a few treatments in the spa and then straight to the pool!
Remember to keep an eye out for my next Thailand post!

LIFESTYLE: Celebrity Puppets

This popped up on my inbox the other day and I just thought it was hilarious so I wanted to share it with you haha. Its basically a collection of photos of celebs as puppets, I'm such a child! These were my fave but check out My Voucher Codes for the rest.

Friday, 11 July 2014

FASHION: White Mesh Insert Co Ord

Like most girls at the moment, I have been after a two piece set, it's taken me ages but I've finally found a few that I like and here's the first, Of course I will also be posting about the others that I've found too!

One thing that they all have in common is that there are no skirts to be seen, they are all trousers or shorts - I just feel alot more comfortable in them. I have been watching this set online for a while now, it first came out in black, and the yellow (!?) pink and blue and all sorts but I wanted white so I waited and waited and finally it appeared in Fashion Union's New In!

Its a light floaty matieral with mesh panels. The shorts are high waisted so although it's a crop and shorts, your still covered up (which doesn't bother me either way, but still) I thought since the whole outfit was already white, it would be best to pair it with my white heels with the see though heel which have been so easy to wear this summer, getting white shoes was a big step for me as I wear black with everything but they seem to just match all my summer otufits, yey.

I also love that I can (and will) wear each piece separately too, the top will go perfectly with my lovely pair of black jeans that I wear with everything and I'm sure I can find another super cute crop to go with the shorts!

White Set - *Fashion Union
Heels - Boohoo

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

FASHION: Outlet Designer Stores At Braintree Freeport, Essex

Last night, The lovely team at Braintree Freeport invited me along to come an find an outfit for an event I am going to on Saturday! Free port is a cute little shopping village with over 85 stores all offering up to 60% off plus there's loads of nice places to eat too - They even have a Cadburys outlet! I'll keep it a surprise on here but I'm sure there are a few clues on my twitter if you want to see what the outfit is for, Ill be posting about it next week if you can wait!

I was given £150 gift card and about 50 minutes to find myself a outfit. First things first, I need the actual clothing part. I knew I wanted a dress and I knew I wanted to get it in one of two places, Ted Baker or Karen Millen, I ended up finding the perfect one in Karen Millen with a crazy half price price tag, it was £80 down from £110 down from £160! Its super fitted but still comfortable which is what I was looking for, I hate having my day ruined because something I was wearing was uncomfortable! I was hoping to find something that I will be able to wear again and I think I will be able to do it with this dress since its black and white and very smart.


Next up I was desperate to find shoes, I had about 20 minutes left and no idea what I wanted. I'd left the accessorise wide open with buying a black and white dress, did I want to stick to the monochrome or add a pop of colour?! I ended up in Clarks as I knew that whatever I chose would be comfortable and as I said, that a big thing for me! I knew heels would make the outfit so much better but I decided that I was going to get flats as I have no idea what to expect for Saturday and again, I didn't want my shoes to ruin my day. These were actually the first pair that I picked up and I fell in love with them, they have the perfect little chunky heel which solves my problem and the colours fit well with my dress! They were £19 down from £24!


Now I literally had about 12 minutes left and £50 to find a bag, it was craziness - this is when I started running haha. I ended up in Zatchels - I've just taken my huge hologram Zatchel to Thailand and I know how sturdy and well made they are so I thought it was worth a look and amazingly I found what I needed. This super cute tiny little satchel with a subtle sparkle fitted right in plus I had enough money too! The micro Zatchels on the site cost £75, I paid £24.


 Huge thanks to Team Freeport for the opportunity and I'm sure excited to wear my outfit on Saturday! More photos to come of course!